• abigailburdess

My If

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

I have always loved Rudyard Kipling's 'If'. I attempted a version for my daughters.

If you can take your time when others rush you

And make your choice although they speak you wrong

If you can raise your voice when others shush you

And through their tuneless chatter sing your song

If you can joke, but not at others sorrow,

And cry, but not be drowned by tears

And act today, and not tomorrow

And so embrace the passing of the years

If you can hope - but do not stop at hoping

If you can dream - but not make dreams your end

If you can ask for help when you’re not coping

And never let pride keep you from a friend

If you can lend a hand down to your sister

And take the hand that’s offered from above

And though you stretch and wear and blister

Still hold the line, and hold the line with love

If you can toil, though they your toil short-measure

And leave your gifts to spoil and talents waste,

If you can toil again, in toil take pleasure,

And laugh about the challenges you’ve faced

If you can care, and lose yourself in caring

And lust, and let lust burn you to your core

And bear, though it will hurt past bearing

Then wash your wounds, and give your heart once more.

If you can win, and not show off in winning

And lose, nor count that loss your worth

If you can sigh and grasp the world was spinning

Long before the minute of your birth

If you can learn that earth herself will own you

And not you her – so reconciled

You’ll earn this shining moment shown you

And - which is more - you’ll be a woman, child

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